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There has been much emphasis placed on the stress children are under nowadays, due to the amount of tests and exams they’re expected to take. But now pressure has taken on a new dimension, with one mother claiming that you should start working on you child’s CV from birth.
Mother of four, Anna May Mangan explained to The Daily Mail that she started working on her four children’s CVs before they could ‘even read and write, and definitely before they can spell “curriculum vitae”’.
‘From applying to secondary school – or much earlier if you want your child to get into a good private school – your little darlings will be competing against others,’ she says. ‘When they’re older, there’s work experience, university places, internships and jobs to fight for, especially hard when you’re up against kids whose parents have connections.’
Anna says she’s from a humble background, and her children, who are now in their twenties and early thirties, have achieved their ‘dream jobs’, without leg-ups or nepotism. One is a financial analyst, two are doctors and the other is on the verge of becoming a commercial solicitor.
But rather than making them do internships in their nappies, she tailored their hobbies to be more CV friendly.
‘They need something to help them stand out from the crowd. It’s a teacher’s job to help children pass their exams and I think dedicated mums should be ready, willing and able to do everything else to help her children achieve their potential,’ she explains.
‘In my case, out went pastimes such as kite flying and papier mâché modelling, replaced by hobbies with CV potential, such as French conversation – my youngest was just four when she started – and junior chess.’
*Feels a wave of shame over calling the rook ‘the castle’*
The ambitious mum also packed her children off to stage school to add some pizzazz to their future CVs.
‘I transferred the children from the drama class in the church hall to a Central London weekend stage school because it had an agency that cast professional jobs. I moved them from tennis and football training in the local park, where they were taught by well-meaning but hapless volunteer parents, to an excellent sports centre with highly trained coaches. The result? Before they left primary school my four – Andrew, Ella, Jane and Alana – each had West End stage appearances, roles in TV dramas and sports awards on their CVs.’
And while this may sound like an awful lot of work, especially when you’re taxiing four children around, Anna believes it was worth all the time, energy and money.
She reveals that upgrading swimming lessons to lifeguard courses helped secure university places, and that a playwriting course that her then teenage daughter begrudgingly signed up to, was what stood out on her CV when being interviewed for a top law firm.
And for those of you who think Anna deprived her children of a childhood, she has firm words.
‘Those who are repelled by the idea of treating childhood as a ‘job’ need a reality check. Life is competitive. No one falls into their ideal job by accident. It takes a lot of effort at school and a ton of forward planning to make dreams come true,’ she writes.
‘So yes, I’ve had some disparaging comments about my passion for CV building from friends and family. Often people say: “I just want my children to be happy.” I want mine to be happy, too. And fulfilled. And solvent. And independent. More important than what other people say, my children tell me I did a good job. They see now the effort paid off for them in terms of job choices.’
Pretty tough to argue with logic like that though, isn’t it?